Sharp BD-HP21U Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Sharp BD-HP21U Blu-ray Player Reviewed

Sharp has introduced two new Blu-ray players. Both are Profile 1.1 players, supporting the BonusView picture-in-picture function but lacking network connectivity for BD-Live. The less-expensive BD-HP21U ($300) lacks the RS-232 port and nicer aesthetic you get on the BD-HP50U ($400).

Sharp_Blu-ray.gifThe BD-HP21U ($300) is the follow-up to Sharp's BD-HP20U, a Profile 1.0 player released in 2007. This is a Profile 1.1/BonusView player, which means it contains the necessary audio and video decoders for picture-in-picture content, but it lacks the BD-Live Web functionality you get when you move up to Profile 2.0. We have not performed a hands-on review of the BD-HP21U, but here is an overview of the player's features. In terms of connectivity, this unit covers the basics but lacks some higher-end options. On the video side, you get HDMI 1.3, component video, and composite video outputs (no S-video). Via the HDMI output, you can pass Blu-ray signals in their native 1080p/24 resolution to compatible display devices. On the audio side, the BD-HP21U offers HDMI, optical digital audio (no coaxial), and 2-channel analog audio outputs, but it does not have 7.1-channel analog audio outputs. The player can internally decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and it can pass these formats in their native bitstream form over HDMI, for your A/V receiver to decode. The player can pass 7.1-channel PCM audio over HDMI.

Additional Resources
Read high end and top performing Blu-ray players from Sharp, Oppo, Samsung, Sony, Sony ES, Denon and many other top brands here. 

The BD-HP21U's disc drive supports Blu-ray, DVD, CD audio, and JPEG playback, but not MP3, WMA, or Divx. Because this is not a Profile 2.0 player, it lacks an Ethernet port for quick firmware updates and BD-Live Web access. There is a back-panel USB port through which you can perform firmware updates.

Sharp has also released a step-up model, the $400 BD-HP50U, which has the same basic features as the HP21U but a slightly higher-end aesthetic with a glossier finish and a powered front door with on-unit controls. More importantly, the BD-HP50U adds RS-232 and IR control ports for integration into an advanced control system, features not found on most players in this price range.

Read Page 2 for The High Points, Low Points and Conclusion



Sharp_Blu-ray.gif

High Points
• The Sharp BD-HP21U supports 1080p/24 output for Blu-ray titles.
• The player can internally decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and it can pass these formats in bitstream form over HDMI. This gives the BD-HP21U a little more versatility than some entry-level players that lack internal high-resolution audio decoders.
• It can play picture-in-picture bonus content.
• The Quick Start feature can purportedly cue up some Blu-ray discs in as little as 10 seconds.

Low Points
• The BD-HP21U lacks 7.1-channel analog audio outputs, so it's not the best choice for someone who owns an older, non-HDMI A/V receiver.
• It is not a Profile 2.0 player and lacks an Ethernet port.
• It does not support playback of the MP3, WMA, or Divx formats.
• We have seen reports that the Quick Start feature is only effective with some discs, and a disc must already be inserted in the player in order to cue it up in 10 seconds.

Conclusion
Sharp's BD-HP21U Blu-ray player offers a solid assortment of features for a good price. However, given that other big-name Blu-ray manufacturers now offer Profile 2.0 players with even more functionality for the same (or less) money, the BD-HP21U is at a competitive disadvantage in the mainstream marketplace. 

Subscribe To Home Theater Review

You'll automatically be entered in the HTR Sweepstakes, and get the hottest audio deals directly in your inbox.
HomeTheaterReview Product Rating
Value: 
Performance: 
Overall Rating: 
When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Your support is greatly appreciated!
© JRW Publishing Company, 2020
magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram